The Market's 131st Birthday Celebration was a great event! We had cake, we had presents (I have contacted all the prize winners to pick up their presents at the market this weekend), and we had singing! We had a record day all around for customers, vendors and vendor revenue! I would also add that Mother Nature played her part and gave us a beautiful day - everyone's spirits were joyful. It was a memorable day and was so because of all the help that went in to preparing and coordinating to help the day run smoothly. Many Thanks to all the folks who contributed prizes for the singing contest, for the Board and Committee members who planned behind the scenes, to the Senior Centre for the delicious birthday cake, to Centrepiece Marketing and Sam Hurrie for providing ambience with a little blues singing, and to all the city officials who participated in the ceremonies. Special Thanks to our MC for the day, Alderman Baldwin-Sands, who encouraged many a closet-singer to perform "Good Things Grow in Ontario".
This week at the market, come to sample a delicious blueberry sauce -recipe compliments of Marianne Hatch of Bluegroves Fruit Farms of West Lorne. Marianne was so excitied to have me try this recipe that she brought a batch for me to sample. I LOVE it! I have mentioned before that blueberries top the list of favourites at my house and this new recipe is right up there at number one. I am finding many new things to try it on, but vanilla icecream is tops so far. Since we expect a little heat this weekend, vanilla waffers will be the sample partner of choice. Find the sampling set up at Bluegroves' table.
Ray & Sandy from Farmgate Markets will have fresh, local (from Shedden, ON) roaster chickens available. These chickens are hormone & antibiotic free and retail for $4.39 a pound. Great for crock pot cooking!
Look for some new crop at McSmiths Organics as they will have peppers, a variety of eggplant, salad & cherry tomatoes and fingerlings. Janis & Mark's flowers are a big seller every Saturday. They have been filling their coldroom all week to prepare for market day and still they sell-out. See them first for snapdragons, sunflowers, and glads (& much more!).
And Frisa Farm eggs will be ready this week for a larger crowd. They sold out early last week. Look for their 'new hen' eggs.
We have a well rounded mix of vendors including produce vendors, fresh meat & turkey, woodworking, jewelry, and body care products vendors (look for photos posted in various spots in the main building). As we are a producer-based farmers market we require our vendors to also be the producer (grower or manufacturer) of their product. From time to time, vendors may need to supplement their produce with produce from another farm. We do have regulations in effect that require this supplemented produce to be no more than 25% of that vendors entire product, that it come from a neighbouring or family farm within the 60km radius guideline, and that the produce be clearly labelled at the market so that the consumer can make an informed decision. If this is a concern of yours, please check the vendor labels and talk to the vendors to learn more about what they grow and if and where they source their supplemental produce. You can also direct any questions to me as I am always interested in feedback and using it to grow the market.
I may have said this before (you can check through previous posts on the blog), and most of us would agree that there is a cyclical nature to all things. I seem to recall a graph in economics class that showed the cyclical nature of business. It ebbs and it flows. The 'business' of the market defintely follows the cycle of Mother Nature. Enjoy the peak wave of nature's bounty through August into September and October. The market season runs until October 31st so be sure to plan your meal times in harmony with nature's harvest. This is a key factor in creating a more sustainable cycle with nature: not only for our local economy but also for our own personal health.
Look forward to seeing you at the market!